Public Health Generation
As I was reminded that it's national public health week I watched an interesting video on the website: http://www.publichealthgeneration.org This reminded me of the impact that this industry can have on the health of our community. Today I gave a presentation to the leadership team in my division along with one of my colleagues in the health center. I talked about my work on alcohol prevention and he talked about occupational health. As he began his presentation after me, Dr. Shelden reminded us of the prevention paradox. Our goals is to prevent problems, and when the problems don't exist we've done our job. Public health has come to the forefront in recent years and in many ways because of the growth and complexity of our world. As I've discussed, this is the big picture approach to health and well being. Thus to understand our complex society we can now look at many health issues from the public health perspective. A big problem can be qualified within this context by seeing that there is a way to prevent it, treat it and allocate resources to accomplish both of these things.
This reminds me why I do what I do. As a public health professional I work to find ways that we can be most effective in benefiting the lives of others. Much of what I do, which many not be different in other fields sets the foreground for the future. In the course of my career I may have made changes or built up assets that demonstrate increased capacity. However, the true change will come after me and that is from the people that I've taught, ideals that have been instilled and will be measured by my ability to pass this on. To strive for this I must acknowledge that without the insights, leadership and involvement of those who I wish to impact I can never leave behind what I've set out to accomplish.
I listened to a lecture this afternoon on youth substance abuse trends and the speaker talked about how the world is not the way it was when he was growing up. He pointed to the reality that one wrong decision could potentially lead to life threatening diseases or other major consequences. This is true in many ways, but what he referred to through this is that we are no longer communities of caring, and we don't know our neighbors. Given that public health seeks to interpret and find solutions for our communities, to do so we must build them. If we can give people the opportunity to walk hand in hand and join in an effort to enrich themselves, this will be sustainable. As I always say, without each other we only have ourselves and alone we can only accomplish so much. In the context of this issue let's remember that although we work in an industry that is large and complex, the simplest and most effective solutions lie within the hearts and minds of those we serve.